PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic toll hit a lot of people hard, but new figures show it’s been especially difficult for working moms looking to find daycare services.

Economists and child care specialists say the pandemic has caused a female-centered recession.

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According to the RAND Corporation and the state, the pandemic job cuts hit a lot of industries that tend to employ women. And, according to recent studies, while there are a lot of jobs now available, many women are not heading back to work because they don’t have a lot of childcare options. Many daycares are still closed or on limited enrollment.

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According to a study by the Penn State Center for Economic Community Development, the most recent unemployment numbers in May show 22 percent of women applied for unemployment while only 19 percent of men did. And experts say it’s been that way, with more women filing for unemployment than men, from the beginning of the pandemic.

In fact, in October, the unemployment rate for women was higher than that of men in all but 12 of the state’s 67 counties.

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Making this situation worse, child care doesn’t pay very well, so the daycares that are open can’t find people to work. The hope is that when the state fully reopens, more child care will become available.